The Feed

Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

CW fall schedule eliminates two black-centered shows, nixes Brittany Snow's Gossip Girl spinoff

Chris As network TV giveth, so can it take away.

Four days after Fox doubled the number of network TV shows featuring stars of color, the CW pulled things back to familiar territory, advancing a schedule for 2009-10 that cancels the network's Friday night slot of black-centered comedies, The Game and Everybody Hates Chris.

Instead, the CW has doubled down on shows trained on its target audience, young women, with a remake of the '80s drama Melrose Place, a Twilight-inspired story about two vampire brothers warring over the same girl in Vampire Diaries,  and a scripted series from executive producer Ashton Kutcher (?!) about teenage models discovering the cutthroat world of fashion, The Beautiful Life.

293_gossip_girl_valleygirls_042009 Tampa-bred talent fared pretty badly in this new schedule as well, with Tampa native JoAnna Garcia's quirky dramedy Privileged given the ax, along with plans for a Gossip Girl spinoff built around Tampa native Brittany Snow (left) called Lily.

(During the CW's presentation before advertisers Thursday, executives insisted the spin-off isn't necessarily dead yet)

Still, these are moves that make all kinds of sense, given that the network reaped ratings and critical buzz with female-skewed shows such as the 90210 remake and Gossip Girl. So the new shows are loaded up with young, white-bread talent such as Ashlee Simpson Wentz and The O.C. alum Mischa Barton.

Nevermind that the network has given up on programming Sundays, has assigned permanent reruns to its 9 p.m. Friday slot and pushed longtime hit Smallville to another death spot at 8 p.m. Fridays. More than any broadcast network, the CW is starting to feel an awful lot like a cable channel these days.

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Click below to see the full schedule:


THE CW’s 2009-2010 PRIME TIME SCHEDULE

(new shows in bold)

Melroseplace1

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 PM, GOSSIP GIRL
9:00-10:00 PM, ONE TREE HILL

TUESDAY 

8:00-9:00 PM, 90210
9:00-10:00 PM, MELROSE PLACE (New)

WEDNESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL
9-10:00 PM, THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE (New)

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 PM, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (New Series)Vampdiaries19:00-10:00 PM, SUPERNATURAL

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM, SMALLVILLE (New night)
9:00-10:00 P.M., AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, (Encore Presentation
9:00-10:00 P.M., “MELROSE PLACE” (New Series)
In an elegant Spanish-style apartment building in the trendy Melrose neighborhood of Los Angeles, a diverse group of 20-somethings have formed a close-knit surrogate family.  Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton, the original “Melrose Place”) is the landlady, still beautiful at 40, and a central figure in the lives of all her tenants, especially handsome and rebellious David Breck (Shaun Sipos, “Shark”).  Sydney started an affair with David despite her turbulent history with his estranged father, Dr. Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro, the original “Melrose Place”).  Both father and son learned through experience that Sydney was not above using blackmail to control people.  Another tenant, high-powered publicist Ella Simms (Katie Cassidy, “Supernatural”), once considered Sydney her mentor, but their friendship was destroyed by betrayal, and Sydney threatened to evict Ella and ruin her career.  Sydney also played a pivotal role in the career of Auggie Kirkpatrick (Colin Egglesfield, “All My Children”).  After they met at an AA meeting, she became Auggie’s sponsor and encouraged his dream to become a chef.  Now a successful sous chef at the trendy restaurant Coal, Auggie has been avoiding  Sydney since she began drinking again.  The other tenants include Lauren Yung (Stephanie Jacobsen, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”), a medical student in desperate need of money to pay her student loans, and Jonah Miller (Michael Rady, “Swingtown”), an aspiring filmmaker who has just proposed to his live-in girlfriend Riley Richmond (Jessica Lucas, “Cloverfield”), a first-grade teacher.  The newest tenant, 18-year-old Violet Foster (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, “7th Heaven”), has just arrived in LA with her own secret connection to Sydney.  When a bloody body is found floating in the courtyard pool, David is the leading suspect.  However, as the police are soon to discover, almost everyone living at Melrose Place had a reason to want the deceased out of the way.  An updated version of the popular 1990s series, MELROSE PLACE is from CBS Television Studios with executive producers Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer (“Smallville”).  Oscar-winner Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) is the director and executive producer of the pilot. 

9:00-10:00 P.M., “THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE” (New Series)
The life of a high-fashion model appears glamorous and sexy, but as every new model quickly learns, behind the beautiful façade is a world of insecurity and cutthroat competition.  Two teenage models who are about to discover this world for themselves are Raina Collins (Sara Paxton, “Last House on the Left”), a stunning beauty with a secret past, and Chris Andrews (Benjamin Hollingsworth, “The Line”), a strikingly handsome Iowa farm boy.  When Raina makes an unforgettable impression at a show introducing the new line from designer Zac Posen (appearing in a cameo role), she steals the spotlight from her friend Sonja (Mischa Barton, “The O.C.”).  Sonja has been out of the country for mysterious reasons and is now desperate to reclaim her standing as the reigning supermodel.  While Raina and Sonja live at the top of the fashion food chain, Chris is starting at the bottom, having just been discovered by agent Simon Lockridge (newcomer Dusan Dukic) of the Covet Modeling Agency, which is owned by former supermodel Claudia Foster (Elle Macpherson, “Friends”).  At his first photo shoot, Chris’ inexperience almost derails his career until Raina comes to his rescue, showing him how to relax and work the camera.  That afternoon, Raina brings Chris to the “models’ residence” where she lives along with other young hopefuls, including Marissa Delfina (Ashley Madekwe, “Secret Diary of a Call Girl”), Egan (Jordan Woolley, “As The World Turns”), Issac (Corbin Bleu, “High School Musical 2”) and the current alpha-male-model known as Kai (Nico Tortorella, “Twelve”).  At an exclusive industry party that night, Chris is again impressed by Raina’s generosity when she steps aside to make sure Sonja lands a job that will resurrect her career.  However, after an ugly scene with Simon, Chris is left to question whether he can survive in this world of dangerous excess and fleeting fame.  THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE is from Katalyst Films in association with CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Ashton Kutcher & Jason Goldberg (“True Beauty,” “Punk’d”), Karey Burke (“True Beauty”), Mike Kelley (“Swingtown,” “Jericho”) and Carol Barbee (“Swingtown,” “Jericho”).  Christian Duguay (“Coco Chanel”) directed the pilot.

8:00-9:00 P.M.,  “THE VAMPIRE DIARIES” (New Series)
Four months after the tragic car accident that killed their parents, 17-year-old Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev, “DeGrassi: The Next Generation”) and her 15-year-old brother, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen, “Everwood”) are still trying to cope with their grief and move on with their lives.  Elena has always been the star student; beautiful, popular and involved with school and friends, but now she finds herself struggling to hide her sadness from the world.  As the school year begins, Elena and her friends are fascinated by a handsome and mysterious new student, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley, “Army Wives”).  Stefan and Elena are immediately drawn to one another, and Elena has no way of knowing that Stefan is a centuries-old vampire, struggling to live peacefully among humans, while his brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder, “Lost”) is the embodiment of vampire violence and brutality.  Now these two vampire brothers ? one good, one evil ? are at war for Elena’s soul and for the souls of her friends, family and all the residents of the small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia.  Based on the series of books by L. J. Smith, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is from Alloy Entertainment and Bonanza Productions Inc in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios with executive producers Kevin Williamson (“Dawson’s Creek,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer”), Julie Plec (“Kyle XY,” “Wasteland”), Leslie Morgenstein (“Gossip Girl,” “Privileged”) and Bob Levy (“Gossip Girl,” “Privileged”).  Marcos Siega (“Dexter”) directed the pilot. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:58pm]

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